Translating the Year 1299: On Reading Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic in English


Following general reflections on the relations between global media,
local and oral history, this paper addresses the paradoxical constraints
imposed by language specialization, which focuses Western historians
on particular regions and languages at the expense of demotic and oral
cultures. Taking up the idea that translation is never an ideologically innocent
act, Stein addresses the ambiguous status of English in the Indian
context, both as the language of British imperial power, but also as a vehicle
for challenging and “writing back” against colonial discourse. To
illustrate the linguistic pitfalls that accompany research on South Asian
art, the paper investigates the relations between temple art, iconoclasm,
and the zinc smelting industry in Jawar, Rajasthan.


Authors: Deborah L. Stein
Type: journal article
Publication: Art in Translation (2012), vol. 4 no. 1, p. 41-60
DOI: doi: 10.2752/175613112X13244611239791

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